Omicron Delta Kappa is successful in large part because of the dedication of its volunteers—men and women who are leaders in their own communities and remain unfailingly committed to the development of tomorrow’s leaders today. The Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation, Inc. (the full legal name) is a 501(c)3 organization and is governed by a Board of Trustees. The funds raised by the organization support leadership development programs and provide scholarships to OΔK members. The President/CEO is a ex-officio non-voting member of the Board of Trustees.
Board Chair Willie L. Banks Jr. is in initiate of the University of Georgia Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa and served as an advisor to the circle for a number of years. Previously, he was elected to the Society Board of Directors in 2018. Willie also serves as the chair of the Executive Committee, and his current term on the board ends in 2023.
Willie currently serves as the vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of California, Irvine, a position he has held since July 15, 2019. In his position, Willie is charged with providing oversight and direction to the Division of Student Affairs, which is comprised of clusters addressing the whole development of UCI students. These clusters include auxiliary services; student life and leadership; and wellness, health, and counseling services. The division employs more than 800 fulltime staff and 1,000 student employees. The division is dedicated to transforming the lives of the more than 35,000 students attending UCI.
Previously, Willie was the vice president for student affairs at Indiana State University. While at ISU, he also held an appointment as an assistant professor within the Bayh College of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership. The Division of Student Affairs at Indiana State provides programs and services that support the co-curricular involvement of more than 13,500 students.
Prior to joining Indiana State University, Willie worked for Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio, for three and a half years in a variety of positions including associate dean of students, interim assistant vice president for student affairs, and interim vice president for student affairs. He previously worked at the University of Georgia for more than 18 years in a variety of positions within the Division of Student Affairs including as director of the Tate Student Center and Campus Life and associate dean of students for intercultural affairs.
During his time at the University of Georgia, Willie held graduate faculty status with the College of Education and served as an instructor for a number of courses within the College Student Affairs Administration (CSAA) program including College Student Ecology, Issues in Student Affairs Administration, and College Student Affairs Interventions.
Professionally, Willie is involved with American College Personnel Association (ACPA), Association of College Unions International (ACUI), and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). Willie previously served on the Board of Directors for the Association of College Unions International, the United Way of the Wabash Valley, and was member of the Terre Haute Rotary Club. He received his undergraduate degree from Mercer University in Macon, Ga. and his master’s and Ph.D. in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia.
Sandra “Sandy” B. Thurmond is a 1987 initiate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. Sandy is the board chair-elect and chair of the Governance and Trusteeship Committee. Her current term will conclude in June 2022.
Sandy is the vice president of primary care services at Children’s of Alabama and as such is responsible for responsible for the operations and development of Children’s primary care network, Pediatric Practice Solutions (PPS), as well as for maintaining and improving relationships with pediatricians around the State of Alabama. She began working with PPS in 1995 at the time it was created, and PPS has grown to 13 offices located around Alabama which provided approximately 334,000 patient visits in 2019. Children’s of Alabama is a private, not-for-profit medical center, and it is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, and it is ranked among the best pediatric medical centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. With more than 2 million square feet, it is one of the largest pediatric medical facilities in the United States.
After completing her administrative residency at Children’s of Alabama in 1988, Sandy held administrative positions in both operations and facilities and worked with strategic planning.
Sandy is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a certified member of the Medical Group Management Association. She serves on the Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and is President of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Birmingham-Southern College, is a past president of its alumni board, and she is a 2019 Distinguished Alumna. Sandy also serves on the United Way of Central Alabama’s Women United Advisory Group and is a member of the UAB Department of Health Service Administration’s Women in Healthcare Leadership Executive Council and chairs its Program Committee. Sandy received the UAB Commission on the Status of Women’s 2019 Outstanding Woman in the Community Award.
Sandy is a past president of the Alabama Healthcare Executives Forum and served three years on the National Chapters Committee of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has served on boards of the Kiwanis Club of Metropolitan Birmingham, VSA Alabama, the Alabama Healthcare Executives Forum, and the Cahawba Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Sandy is also a past president of the Alumni Association of the Graduate Programs in Health Administration at UAB and a past recipient of its Distinguished Alumni Award. Sandy is a graduate of the Momentum Women’s Leadership program and of Project Corporate Leadership. She served two terms as Sr. Warden of the Vestry, is a Lay Eucharistic Minister, and is an active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
Sandy is an honors graduate of both Birmingham- Southern College (Bachelor of Science with a major in biology) and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (Master of Science with a major in health administration). She is the mother of two boys, resides in Birmingham, Alabama, and her hobbies include fitness, reading and travel.
Immediate Past Board Chair Sally K. Albrecht is a popular choral composer, conductor, and clinician, especially known for her work with choral movement. She was initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa at Rollins College where she earned her undergraduate degree and was active with Phi Mu, Chapel Choir and many theatre productions. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in drama and Master of Music in accompanying from the University of Miami.
An annual recipient of the ASCAP Special Music Award since 1987, Sally has more than 600 popular choral publications in print, 75 larger elementary songbooks and musicals, plus has developed 20 choral movement instructional DVDs. She has directed and staged the half-time show singers performing during two Florida Citrus Bowls, and she has conducted hundreds of honor choir events including festivals at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and The Kennedy Center. She was an accompanist for Fred Waring and has taught in the music departments at Oakland University (Mich.), Jersey City State College (N.J.), and Meredith College (N.C.). For more than three decades, she was the Director of School Choral Publications for two major educational music publishing companies, most recently for Alfred Music.
Sally’s music has been performed around the world, including at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration Ceremonies, as the Pope arrived in Philadelphia in 2015, by the 2016 Texas Elementary All-State Choir, in both Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. She also composed (and co-wrote the lyrics for) “We’re Proud to Be O∆K,” the O∆K theme song.
Sally served as the O∆K Foundation President from 2018-19 and is currently the Immediate Past Board Chair of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation Board of Trustees. Sally has been involved in Omicron Delta Kappa as a member of both the Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee and the Board of Trustees. She was the proud recipient of the O∆K Pillars of Leadership Award in Creative and Performing Arts in 2014. Her current term on the board ends in June 2022.
Sally and her husband, composer/arranger Jay Althouse, currently enjoy living in Raleigh, N.C.
Melissa M. Cancio is a 2016 initiate of the Florida International University (FIU) Circle. She served as circle president, and she previously served the Society as a member of the National Advisory Council and Student Advisory Board (SAB). In addition to being the national student vice chairr, Melissa is also the chair of the SAB. She is also a member of the Executive Committee. Her term on the Board of Trustees will conclude in June 2023.
Melissa is a recent graduate from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois and just completed her MBA. At FIU, she earned her Bachelor of Science with a major in public relations, advertising, and applied communication. Melissa, who was a student in the Honors College at FIU, also earned a minor in business communication. She is credited with coordinating one of the most successful Roarthons (FIU’s Dance Marathon) in the school’s history raising significant funds to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network including Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
Melissa is was formerly a graduate assistant in the Office of Student Involvement at North Central College. In this role, she supervised three marketing assistants and 15 other students who operate the Harold and Eva Whites Activities Center on campus. She also developed marketing plans to promote new student orientation, commuter and transfer student orientation, and weekend programming on campus. Melissa has also served as a social media intern, an events and media coordinator, and a public relations intern.
Mary E. Stuart (University of Virginia, 2019) is a current student trustee for the Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation, Inc. Her three-year term as one of the Society’s student trustees began on July 1, 2021. In the 2022-23 academic year, she will be the Society’s National Student Vice Chair and Chair of the Student Advisory Board.
Stuart served as the UVA Circle president during her junior and senior years at the school. She recently completed a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English at Virginia. Stuart will begin work on her law degree at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in the 2021 fall semester.
A native of King George, Virginia, Stuart was involved in several collegiate activities at Virginia, including the College Republicans, the Virginia Riding Team, and the Frank Batten Investment Fund. As an undergraduate, she also held positions with the university’s disability access center and athletic academic affairs office. Stuart was also supported numerous programs and events at the Batten School of Leadership during her time at UVA.
Hameidah Alsafwani was initiated into the University of Nebraska – Omaha (UNO) Circle in November 2017. She has been active in circle activities since and attended the 2018 Biennial National Convention and Leadership Conference in Nashville, Tenn. She is currently serving as the immediate past national student vice chair and as a member of the Board Nominations Committee. Her current term on the Board of Trustees will conclude in June 2022.
Hameidah graduated in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in emergency management with concentrations in the private sector and criminal justice. She is presently enrolled in a Master of Public Administration program while working as a graduate assistant in UNO’s Office of University Communications. She is also working part-time as a hotline associate in the Office of Mayor for Omaha.
During the 2017-18 academic year, Hameidah served as the vice president of the UNO student body. She worked with university administrators and faculty members in promoting school spirit and improving the overall campus experience for all UNO students and staff. She served on several committees that were focused on developing a strategy for growth and a plan of excellence. As a student, Hameidah still participates in outreach events within the university community and participates in various volunteer opportunities.
Previously, Hameidah interned with the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency where she worked on several emergency prevention projects. She still volunteers to help with emergency exercises and plans for the agency. Also, she continues to serve as a volunteer for the community TEDx program including assisting with the speaker selection, event promotion, and program coordination.
Hameidah lives, works, and attends graduate school in Omaha, Neb.
Jeffery Edwards is a 1981 initiate of the Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa at Washington and Lee University. He was appointed O∆K’s national counsel in 2016.
Jeff is a partner with the law firm of Hunton Andrews Kurth based in Richmond, Va. His litigation experience includes a variety of subject matters in different forums around the country. In addition to handling proceedings addressing general complex business disputes, Jeff has significant experience handling utility-related disputes (including the gas pipeline, telecommunications, electric, and nuclear industries; and involving regulatory, operations, and condemnation issues), post-M&A disputes, product safety issues, environmental and toxic tort matters, corporate governance matters, and real estate issues. Jeff’s work includes both advice and counseling as well as handling disputes when they arise. Jeff is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and in Virginia federal and state courts.
He is a regular participant in the Washington and Lee Legal Ethics Institute at Washington and Lee University and an instructor in Washington and Lee University Law School’s Third Year Practicum.
In addition to earning his undergraduate degree from W&L in 1978, Jeff also earned his law degree from Washington and Lee in 1981. As an undergraduate, he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. During law school, he was inducted into the Order of the Coif and was the lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee University Law Review. He was also the recipient of the John W. Davis (highest GPA) and Ring-Tum Phi (University Service) awards.
Jeff and his wife Rhonda live in Manakin Sabot, Virginia, and are the parents of two adult children.
Moneque Walker-Pickett is professor and associate chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Saint Leo University. She is a 1994 initiate of the University of Miami Circle. Moneque holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in sociology and Africana studies from the University of Miami. She earned her Juris Doctor (law) degree from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in sociology, with a concentration in race and ethnic relations and criminology, from the University of Miami. Moneque’s multidisciplinary background in law and sociology guides her research interests in socio-legal scholarship exploring the intersectionality of race and ethnicity, gender, crime, and public policy.
Previously, Moneque was awarded a U.S. Presidential Management Fellowship. In this role, she was assigned to work with the Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center and the Social Security Administration’s legal division in Washington, D.C. Moneque also worked on Capitol Hill for six months as a congressional fellow. Upon completing the fellowships, she founded her own general-practice law firm. A licensed attorney for more than 20 years, Moneque brings her work experience and passion for teaching to support student success in and out of the classroom. Using collaborative teaching methods and technology, she utilizes the flipped classroom model, encouraging student participation with an active learning approach.
Moneque is an active member of the Saint Leo University Circle. On campus, she is also an advisor/co-advisor to a number of student organizations, including the Alpha Phi Sigma Criminal Justice Honor Society, the Black Student Union, Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority, and ACJA/LAE organization. Moneque, her husband, and two sons reside in Tampa, Fla.
In January 2013, Darwin was appointed national treasurer In his role as national treasurer, Darwin is responsible for the oversight of Omicron Delta Kappa Society’s financial management strategy and the continual development of the organization’s strategic goals. In addition to strategic planning, his responsibilities include: administration of all fiscal matters within the organization, facilitating the annual budget process with the Finance Committee and national headquarters personnel and to ensure the compliance of audit, tax, and various regulatory policies and procedures. He also chairs the Finance Committee.
Presently, Darwin is a faculty member in the accounting program at Long Island University and works as a New York State-licensed certified public accountant. Previously, Darwin was with the accounting firms of Ernest and Young and KPMG. He previously served as co-chair of the New York State Society of CPA’s (NYSSCPA) COAP Program Advisory Board. COAP is a five-day summer program for high school juniors and is designed to recruit young minorities into the CPA profession. COAP provides an invaluable preview of college life, and the program encourages high school students to think beyond college and learn about a career in the business world. Additionally, he has served as distinguished member of the Young Leadership Circle of the New York State Society of CPAs, member of KPMG’s African-American Network Advisory Board, and member of the American Institute of CPAs Student Recruitment Committee and Minority Scholarship Task Force.
A 2004 initiate of the University at Albany Circle, Darwin served as the 2005–06 circle president. Darwin earned his Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University at Albany and a Master of Science with distinction in taxation and finance from Long Island University – Brooklyn. Darwin and his wife Shalon have two children, and the family resides in Passaic, N.J.
Michael T. Benson, the third president of Coastal Carolina University, was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa Board of Trustees in July 2021. Mike is a 2012 initiate of the Southern Utah University Circle, which he helped to establish when he was president at that institution. Prior to his appointment at Southern Utah, Mike served as president of Snow College.
Before leading Coastal Carolina, Mike served as the 13th president of Eastern Kentucky University from 2013-20 and was named president emeritus of EKU in December 2019. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the EKU Circle of O∆K. While at EKU, Mike held an appointment as professor of government. He recently served as a visiting professor in the Department of History of Science and Technology in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Mike’s book about JHU founder Daniel Coit Gilman will be released next year by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Mike earned his bachelor’s degree cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1990 with a major in political science and double minors in English and history. He is an initiate of the BYU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Mike completed his doctorate in modern history from the University of Oxford (St. Antony’s College) in 1995, where he was a Rotary Foundation Scholar and recipient of the Oxford Graduate Overseas Fellowship. He also earned a master’s degree cum laude in nonprofit administration in 2011 from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, where he was the recipient of the prestigious Father Theodore Hesburgh Founder’s Award. Mike will complete a Master of Liberal Arts at Johns Hopkins University in August 2021.
Mike, his wife Debi, and their family live in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Randy is the president of Leadership Strategies Group, a performance management consulting firm. He is working with clients in the areas of leadership development and strategy. He is also Scholar in Residence and Professor of Management in the Gordon Ford College of Business at Western Kentucky University. His teaching responsibilities are with Executive MBA and doctoral students. He is a 1980 initiate of the Western Kentucky University Circle and was elected as an at-large trustee in 2020. His current term will end in 2023.
For more than twenty-five years he has worked with and done research on team based organizations in a variety of industries, including service, healthcare and manufacturing. He was instrumental in working with what is now called Logan Aluminum to develop a culture and team system that has allowed them to be the most profitable aluminum facility in the world. The Whirlpool Corporation employed him for a year to work with their various facilities in designing teams systems unique to their particular needs. After the initial year he remained as an advisor for more than ten years. In addition to these examples of his work with teams he continues to work with organizations in implementing teams. He serves as advisor to several CEO’s as they implement the team approach in their own organizations.
His focus is on helping the client achieve success through developing leadership skills and implementing a strategy. The major expertise he brings to clients is helping them develop and align their people and processes to reach higher levels of performance. He works with the client’s leadership, culture, mission and values to develop customized solutions for the organization.
He has won university awards for both research and teaching. He was awarded an educational grant from the General Motors Educational Foundation to research leadership among executives in that company. He has also received grants from the government of Quebec to research management and leadership practices among Canadian companies. He is author of nine books, mostly on communication and leadership. He has also published research on companies moving to the team approach of managing.
He holds degrees from Kentucky Wesleyan College, Western Kentucky University and a doctoral degree from the University of Virginia. He has done post-doctoral work at Vanderbilt. He was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humanities from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2016.
Peter Christiaans was initiated into Omicron Delta Kappa in 1993 at the University of Miami, where he obtained his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Master of Business Administration. He currently serves on the Strategic Planning Task Force and the Finance Committee. His current term as a trustee will conclude in June 2022.
Peter is a director at Huron Consulting, and he has over 20 years of technology and management consulting experience across health care, higher education, and financial services. Peter specializes in leading complex and highly visible client engagements, including implementations of cloud-based ERP systems. He has a wide range of consulting experience, including technical management, mergers and acquisitions, application integration, architecture, and system and business process redesign.
Prior to joining Huron, Peter worked at Deloitte, where he led the HR Transformation Workday practice in its U.S. Delivery Centers. Prior to this role, he served as a program manager in the firm’s Oracle/Technology practice.
Peter has served as a board member and Finance Committee Chair for ISACA and its associated entities (the IT Governance Institute and CMMI Institute). ISACA is a global non-profit organization with 115,000 constituents in 180 countries that focuses on the development, adoption, and use of globally accepted, industry-leading knowledge and practices for information systems. In this role as Finance Chair, Peter was responsible for providing oversight of the annual budgeting process, financial results and investments, and submission of recommendations to the broader Board of Directors.
Peter is active in the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and is a NACD Board Leadership Fellow. Peter is a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer (CDPSE), and Project Management Professional (PMP). He is also a member of HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society), PMI (Project Management Institute), ACHE (American College of Healthcare Executives), SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), the University of Miami’s Citizens Board, and the Banking & Finance and Technology Committees in the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
Peter, who is originally from Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean, and his wife Sandra Parras (University of Miami, 1992), reside in Miami.
Wesley R. Fugate, a 2001 collegiate initiate of the Centre College Circle, was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa Board of Trustees in July 2021. He was instrumental in the revitalization of the circle at Randolph College and participated in and supported the effort to establish the circle at Wilson College in 2020. Wes is currently serving as the the 20th president of Wilson College, located in Chambersburg, Pa.
Prior to his appointment at Wilson, Wes served Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., in a variety of roles including, vice president for student affairs and dean of students; vice president and chief of staff, and secretary of the Board of Trustees; and interim vice president for enrollment management. Previously, Wes served as deputy chief of staff for planning and education policy to the governor of Kentucky; director of events for a national political party’s victory efforts, where he coordinated events for the president, vice president and first lady of the United States, as well as a myriad of other high-ranking officials; adviser to the Interfraternity Council at the University of Georgia; and director of program advancement for Kentucky’s Governor’s Scholars Program.
In addition to his membership in O∆K, West is an initiate of Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity. Currently, he is serving as the immediate past chair of the fraternity’s Foundation Board of Trustees and is a former member of the board of directors for the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in dramatic arts and economics at Centre College, Wes earned a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University in higher education administration with an emphasis on institutional advancement. He received a doctorate in higher education from the University of Georgia. Wes is the recipient of the Alice L. Beeman Research Award in Communications and Marketing from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Fugate and his husband Cody Ward, an international education and student development professional, live in Chambersburg with their cat, Miss Scarlet, an unofficial mascot of Wilson.
Tripp Perrin, a 2014 alumni initiate of the University of Richmond Circle, was elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa Board of Trustees in July 2021. He is currently a member of the Society’s Governance and Trusteeship Committee.
While an undergraduate at the University of Richmond, Tripp was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity and was elected vice president of the Richmond College student government association. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in with a major in leadership studies and went on to be a fellow at the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Tripp earned his Master of Business Administration from William & Mary.
Professionally, Tripp leads the Lindl Corporation in Richmond where he oversees government relations for several Fortune 500 companies and Virginia-based associations. Prior to his appointment at Lindl, Tripp served in a variety of senior level roles in the investment banking, management consulting and healthcare fields. He began his career serving in the administrations of two Virginia governors.
Tripp, his wife, and their family live in Midlothian, Va.
John T. Roberson, executive vice president of Campbell University, was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation in July 2021.
John is a 2017 faculty/staff initiate of the Campbell University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. He was a leader in the effort to revitalize the CU Circle and is currently serving as the circle’s faculty advisor.
From 1989-96, John served Campbell as assistant vice president for alumni relations and assistant to the president. From 1997 to 2005, he served an executive with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. John returned to Campbell in 2005 as the vice president for marketing and planning. In 2008, he was named vice president for enrollment management and marketing and three years later was tapped to be vice president for enrollment management and assistant to the president. In 2013, John became the dean of Adult and Online Education, a position he held until 2016.
After completing his undergraduate degree at Campbell, John went on to earn his master’s degree from the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He earned his Doctor of Education degree, with a major in higher education administration, from North Carolina State University.
John and his wife Wendy live in Lillington, N.C.
Gene Siegal is a 1974 initiate of the University of Louisville Circle having been elected in his senior year of medical school. He was first appointed to Omicron Delta Kappa’s National Advisory Council in 2016 and has subsequently served on its Volunteer Engagement Task Force. Gene currently serves as a trustee-at-large, and his current term will conclude in June 2022. He is a member of the Development Committee and chairs its Major and Planned Giving Subcommittee.
Gene is the Robert W. Mowry Endowed Professor of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and this year was named UAB Distinguished Professor of Pathology. He holds secondary appointments as a professor of Genetics, Surgery and Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology also at UAB. In the quarter of century prior to that he was the director of its Division of Anatomic Pathology, executive vice-chair of Pathology, and the interim chair of its Department of Pathology and its Department of Genetics.
He is an experimental and diagnostic musculoskeletal pathologist whose research interest for over three decades has been focused in cancer biology. Gene’s clinical research interests have centered on studies of bone tumors and related conditions, a field in which he is a recognized world authority. For many years, he served as chair of the Osteosarcoma Pathology Committee of the Pediatric Oncology Group and he continues as an expert reviewer to its successor organization, the Children’s Oncology Group in the area of pediatric bone tumors including Ewing’s sarcoma. He has just been elected the Vice-President of the International Society of Bone & Soft Tissue Pathology.
Gene also holds the rank of senior scientist in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center and multiple other centers on campus. Prior to coming to UAB, he was a faculty member at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Gene completed his undergraduate work at Adelphi University in New York, in addition to his M.D. from Louisville, he has a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and holds a certificate from the University of North Carolina Flagler School of Business Administration. He completed post-graduate studies at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute (the National Institutes of Health), and the University of Minnesota. Gene is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, London, as well as a member of Phi Beta Delta, the Honor Society for International Scholars, Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honor society, and was named an Inaugural Fellow of Sigma Xi along with multiple other honors.
He has published in excess of 700 peer-reviewed manuscripts, book chapters, abstracts and other professional writings along with multiple books. Gene is the former senior associate editor of The American Journal of Pathology, is one of the section editors for Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology for the Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and is the current editor-in-chief of Laboratory Investigation.
Gene is well known for his commitment to diversity and his faculty and trainees encompass a rich spectrum of individuals of all genders, races, religious backgrounds, and ethnicities. This is all the remarkable for the fact that it was accomplished in a part of the nation and in a city which was at the heart of the struggle for civil rights. Between 2015 and 2020, he served as an Internal Advisory Board Member of the Morehead School of Medicine/Tuskegee University/UAB CCC Partnership.
Finally, he is a past president of the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologists, past chair of the Publications Committee of the CAP, past chair of the Fellow Council of the American Society of Clinical Pathology, and past chair of the Intersociety Pathology Council. He has served or is serving on the Executive Committees of the Association of Directors of Anatomic and Surgical Pathology, the American Society for Investigative Pathology, the International Skeletal Society, the International Society for Bone and Soft Tissue Pathology, and the American Society of Clinical Pathology. Earlier, he shared with M.J. Pitt the Farrell Prize of the International Skeletal Society and was named the American Society of Investigative Pathology’s Robbins Distinguished Educator. In 2017, the College of American Pathologists awarded him their Lifetime Achievement award. He is currently completing his term as immediate past president of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the world’s largest professional member organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals.
Gregory R. Singleton began his volunteer service to Omicron Delta Kappa as president of his undergraduate circle at the University of Memphis and as president of the University of Memphis O∆K Alumni Circle. Currently serving as as member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society and Educational Foundation Board of Trustees in the role of Faculty/Staff Trustee and as Chair of the Mission Committee, Greg also serves as the circle coordinator for the Austin Peay State University Circle. His term on the board will end in June 2023.
Greg previously served as a three-year member of the former National Advisory Council; the Circle Coordinator for the University of Miami Circle; Province VIII Director for the State of Florida; and Faculty Advisor for the Austin Peay State University Circle. He has also served on a number of committees including most recently as a member of the Equity and Inclusivity Committee and the Policies and Procedures Subcommittee. Earlier, he was a member of the planning team for the 2018 Biennial National Convention and Leadership Conference which was held in Nashville, Tenn. Greg has also previously served as a member of the Membership and Circle Standards Committee, the National Awards Committee, and the Presidential Commission on Conventions. He is also a past recipient of the Eldridge W. Roark Meritorious Service Award and the Morlan-Bishop Outstanding Circle Advisor Award.
Currently serving as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students and Deputy Title IX Coordinator at Austin Peay State University, Greg has oversight of several departments inclusive of Student Conduct/Case Management, Fraternity/Sorority Life, Military Student Center, African American Cultural Center, Hispanic Cultural Center, Adult, Non-Traditional and Transfer Student Center, Student Life and Engagement, Campus Programming, Student Government Association, and Title IX investigations. Greg is also the Student Affairs representative to the SACSCOC accreditation team.
Greg has previously served as an educational and leadership consultant for Kappa Alpha Order National Fraternity; coordinator for Fraternity/Sorority Affairs at the University of Memphis; assistant dean of students at Purdue University; associate dean of students and director of Judicial Affairs at the University of Miami; and as interim vice president for Student Affairs at Austin Peay State University. He currently serves his national fraternity, Kappa Alpha Order, as the Forester Province Commander (regional vice president) and the National Scholarship Officer. Additionally, Greg serves as the Tennessee State Representative for NASPA Region III and is a conference program reviewer for the NASPA Annual Conference.
As someone who believes in servant leadership, Greg has previously served on the NASPA Region III Conference Planning Committee; as a former national vice president, conference chair, and president of the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors; (AFA); and as a member of the AFA Foundation as both a past secretary and president. He previously served for 18 years on the executive board of the Southeastern Interfraternity Conference including six years as the executive director; served on the expansion committee for Mortar Board Senior Honorary; and as a member of the Clarksville, Tenn. Sexual Assault Center Board of Directors. Greg has been a volunteer for the Community Crisis Center in both Memphis, Tenn. and Lafayette, Ind.; a past board member of the United Cerebral Palsy of the Mid-South, Inc.; and the past co-director for Kappa Alpha Order’s National Leadership Institute.
Jeff Stone is a 1977 initiate of the Auburn University Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa. While at Auburn, he served as President of the Student Government Association. Jeff resides in Birmingham, Alabama, with his wife, Linda (Auburn University, 1977). The Stones have three children and five grandchildren. Jeff became a member of the ODK Foundation Board of Trustees in 2016. He currently serves as a trustee-at-large and as chair of the Development Committee. His current term on the board ends in June 2022.
Jeff currently serves as Executive Vice President for Birmingham based general contractor, Brasfield & Gorrie. In his current role, Jeff oversees field operations and corporate support functions for approximately $4.0 billion in annual construction revenues, 38 operating divisions, and projects in 22 states, while serving on the company’s Executive Board. As a member of the Executive Board, Jeff assists in mapping marketing and financial strategies for future growth. Brasfield & Gorrie is one of the nation’s largest privately held construction firms with projects in multiple market sectors including commercial, healthcare, industrial, and civil construction.
Jeff has more than 40 years of construction experience with Brasfield & Gorrie, including 10 years of managing competitive bid and negotiated healthcare and commercial projects ranging up to $85 million. Prior to becoming Executive Vice President, Jeff was Manager of the Healthcare Division, Vice President of Operations, Regional President, and Chief Operating Officer responsible for more than $900 million in projects.
Jeff helps shape future construction and engineering leaders through his deep involvement at Auburn University, where he served as chairman of the Auburn University Foundation. Jeff is a member of Auburn’s 1856 Society, the Petrie Society, the Engineering Keystone Society and the Engineering Campaign Leadership Team. He is the former chairman of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council. Jeff received the Distinguished Auburn Engineer Award in 2012 and was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2019, Jeff was recognized by the Auburn Alumni Association with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
In addition to his company and industry leadership, Jeff devotes much of his time to civic and philanthropic efforts. These efforts were recently recognized by the United Way Tocqueville Society with the Mervyn H. Stern Award, for the most significant contribution to the success of a United Way Campaign (2015). In 2019, Jeff served as Campaign Chairman for the United Way of Central Alabama.
He is a former chairman of Samford University’s Board of Overseers and is a member of the Birmingham Southern College Norton Board. Jeff also currently serves on the board of the United Way of Central Alabama, the Rotary Club of Birmingham, and The Quarterbacking Children’s Health Foundation. He is a member of Canterbury United Methodist Church where he serves on the church council and on the board of the Canterbury Foundation.
Additionally, he has served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Children’s Harbor, the Civic Club Foundation, REV Birmingham, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where he was recognized as its Living and Giving Honoree in 2011. Jeff is a Past President of the Birmingham Sunrise Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is also a graduate of Leadership Birmingham and Leadership Alabama.
Leslie A. Werden, Ph.D., was initiated as a faculty member into the Morningside Circle of Omicron in 2008. She has served as a Circle Coordinator and is now the Faculty Advisor. In addition to local involvement, Leslie has written and edited articles for The Circle, attended a Faculty Officer Seminar in 2012, served on the National Advisory Council (2018-20) where she also chaired the Program Sub-Committee in year one and the Circle and Membership Standards Sub-Committee in year two. She is the 2019 recipient of the Morlan-Bishop Outstanding Circle Advisor Award. Leslie is currently a faculty/staff trustee and the immediate past chair of the Mission Committee. She is a member of the Board Nominations Committee. Her term on the board will conclude in June 2022.
Leslie is a professor of English and Rhetoric at Morningside College, where she has been since 2006. She has served the college as the First Year Writing Director, the Chair of Writing and Rhetoric, and the Chair of English/Spanish/Rhetoric prior to taking on the role of Department Head of Humanities. Leslie has been the faculty representative to the Morningside College Board of Directors as well as serving on various committees such as Promotion and Tenure, Curriculum Policies and Assessment, Advising, and Faculty Development.
Prior to joining the faculty at Morningside, Leslie earned her doctorate at the University of North Dakota where she also coordinated the film festival associated with the UND Writers’ Conference for three years. She earned her Master of Arts at Winona State University and also served as the Writing Center Director for one semester. Before pursuing her graduate degrees, Leslie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Communication from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked for ten years in marketing for cable television companies in San Jose, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Minneapolis, Minn; and Winona, Minn. Additionally, she was a freelance writer and a consultant for various companies in Minnesota.
In addition to her work with O∆K, Leslie is an active participant in film and theatre in Sioux City. She has been involved in multiple productions as an actor or volunteer with Lamb Theatre, Sioux City Community Theatre, New Stage Players, and Shot in the Dark. She also serves on the Sioux City International Film Festival and is currently the acting Vice President. Beyond the arts, Leslie also volunteers at NAIA basketball and volleyball tournaments each year.
Leslie’s additional volunteer activities include chairing the Newcomers’ Committee for the Conference on College and Communication and serving on the planning committee for the International Virginia Woolf Conference. Leslie has, in her past, also coordinated volunteers for Siouxland Youth Hockey; taken photographs for high school hockey, baseball, and basketball; and served as the Secretary for the Dakota Valley High School Booster Club.
Ryan L. Upshaw (University of Mississippi, 2005) is the chair-elect of the Mission Committee and a Faculty/Staff Trustee. He was elected to the Board of Trustees in the spring of 2021. In the 2022-23 fiscal and academic year, Upshaw will serve as chair of the Society’s Mission Committee.
Professionally, Ryan is the chief diversity officer of Jackson Preparatory School in Jackson, Mississippi. Previously, he was the assistant dean for student services in the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi. Ryan served the Ole Miss Circle as its advisor until July 2020, and he is a 2018 recipient of the Society’s Eldridge W. Roark, Jr. Meritorious Service Award. Ryan was also a four-year member of O∆K’s National Advisory Council.
In addition to his membership in O∆K, Ryan is an initiate of Lambda Sigma Honor Society and Mortar Board. Currently, he is serving as a member of Lambda Sigma’s National Board of Directors. Upshaw also served as a chapter advisor for Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. at the University of Mississippi.
After receiving his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Ole Miss, Upshaw earned a master’s degree in higher education and student personnel administration from the school. He is currently working on completing his doctorate in educational administration at Mississippi. His involvement in community activities includes serving as board president for the United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County and as director of alumni relations for the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program.
Montressa L. Washington was first elected to the Omicron Delta Kappa Board of Trustees in July 2021. She is a 1995 initiate of the Johns Hopkins University Circle and is currently serving as an advisor to the Shenandoah University Circle.
At Shenandoah, Montressa is the co-director of the university’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and an assistant professor of management in the School of Business. She worked in management consulting for 17 years, specializing in change management, technology adoption and business transformation before transitioning into academia. Montressa teaches courses in entrepreneurship and design thinking. She holds a Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) SCP certification and teaches courses in human resources at the university as well as for SHRM. She enjoys mentoring and coaching students about career choices as well as nominating high-performing students to the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership.
Montressa holds a doctorate in management from Case Western Reserve University, an MBA in international business and marketing from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s in English from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Zonta International, and Leaderships Maryland and Howard County. Montressa resides in Columbia, Md.
Rick Williams became a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees in 2018. He is a 2001 initiate of the Grand Valley State University Circle of O∆K. Rick serves as a member of the Development Committee and is an active advocate for O∆K’s annual national leadership conference. He is also currently serving as a trustee-at-large, and his present term will conclude in June 2023.
Professionally, Rick works as a consultant primarily for biotech companies. He focuses on assisting them in bringing emerging technology to market. He also has a subspecialty focused on government relations for companies that are conducting government-funded research or are interested in doing business directly with the U.S. Government. Rick also served in the U.S. Army during the Global War on Terrorism. He left the Army as a captain after serving in Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). He has stayed active in veteran’s causes through the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He also assists veterans with U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs claim issues on a pro-bono basis.
In addition to a Juris Doctor degree, Rick has earned a Master of Business Administration in finance, a Master of Public Administration in public and non-profit administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. He recently completed a three-year term on the Shriners Hospitals for Children Board of Trustees.
Rick and his wife Hannah Reynolds live in Grand Rapids, Mich. In his free time, Rick enjoys assisting veterans with legal issues, studying Masonic history, and training for and participating in adventure races.